April Update on the Big Island

A quick update on the eruption, the Big Island and our gallery…

The eruption continues, all of it within the Halema’uma’u crater.  It has built up a lake of lava that is quite large, is over 300 feet deep and filled with something like 17 billion gallons of lava.  It is quite a sight.

To view the eruption you go to the opposite side of the crater than you used to visit before the crater collapsed…opposite of the Jaggar Museum.  That Museum is still closed, but there are viewing areas around it that are quite good.  The real prize is the view from the Crater Rim Road observation area.

You get to that area by entering the Volcanoes National Park, taking the very first left turn and heading downhill to the Devastation Trail Parking lot.  Park there and look for the outhouses and signs that are on Crater Rim Road…right where you enter the parking lot.  Bring a jacket and a flash light.  The crater is best viewed at night.  It will look almost exactly like the photo in this blog.

For photographers…bring a wide angle lens for shots like the one above and a telephoto of at least 200mm, if you want more detail from the lava lake and any fountaining that is taking place.  Also…got to have a tripod…that wide angle shot is 30 seconds at low ISO and wide open.

From the parking lot, it is a one mile hike on flat, paved road and a one hundred yard walk on a lava rock trail to get to the viewing area.  The area is safe (or as safe as anything can be inside a very active volcanic area) and legal.  It is also well marked.  Avoid sunrise and sunset if possible…those times are often so busy that you can not find a place to park.  I also suggest that you check the Volcano, Hawaii weather report…look at the hourly report…and expect that it will rain if it says the chances are 25% or higher.  Not a lot of fun out there in the rain.  You can also check to see the current volcanic activity on the USGS…the Geological Service site…looking for the twice daily reports on the eruption from Kilauea.  Eruptions vary in intensity…and can go out completely and quite quickly…but the report will give you a good update.  If it does go out, it is likely to come back on in a day or two.

Call me at 808 9388383 if you get lost or need advice…Don Hurzeler.  My phone is usually on until about 10 pm…later if I am at the volcano.

The whales are leaving…still a few around.  The surf is going down and the sand will soon return to the beaches.  It has been a busy winter, but visitors will start to leave in a couple of weeks and not return until mid June.  Mantas have been abundant…I swam with 30 the other night.  The Milky Way is starting to look great…as long as the moon is down.  Most businesses are open…the ones that survived the pandemic.  Restaurants and rental cars seem to be the pinch points.  As of now…and things could change quickly…the pandemic protocols are gone…no masks required and travel no longer requires a bunch of paper work and tests.  And no surprise…prices of everything are going up. Supplies are adequate, but not great.

Waipo Valley is completely closed…you can not even walk down to it.  They are working to find solutions to the dangerous road and may have something soon. However, the original notice said it would be closed to any one other than valley residents until 2025…OUCH.  The Mauna Kea summit is open, but things are still a little bit controversial up there…check before you go.  I know all of the services have been going each night, so I am guessing it is settling down.

Our gallery is doing great.  CJ just returned from a long trip chasing aurora in Alaska…and he scored big with some great shots.  More about those shots next blog.

Come see us if you can…and I am thankful that things are finally returning to near normal.




Don Hurzeler…for CJ Kale and Linda Hurzeler and our entire Lava Light Galleries, Inc team.









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